Lentils and Mung Beans - the Whole Story

There are some days when I get an awfully strong craving for Indian spices. I either want to have a curried dish, or a lentil dish... those are the two competitors for my attention. My favorite dish when I was a girl, is called Mjaddara, a 'peasant' type winter dish popular in the villages of Lebanon.  It's basically a lentil/rice/onion mash that is sooo tasty, sooo comforting and sooo healthy!  That's THREE Soooo's!!  :) Mom was an expert Mjaddara maker, like her father.

According to Choosemyplate.gov...

Health Properties

"Aside from their slight differences in calorie, carb and protein values, red and French lentils have very similar health benefits. Both are protein-rich, plant-based foods, which gives them a unique set of positive nutritional properties.

mung bean sprouts 1
mung bean sprouts 1

According to ChooseMyPlate.gov: low-fat proteins such as lentils are essential for growing, building, repairing and maimaintaining tissues in blood, skin, bone and muscle cells.

Protein is also a particularly satiating nutrient and may be able to keep you full for longer than carb- or fat-rich foods, which can be important if you’re watching your weight. Both red and French lentils are high in dietary fiber, which means they can improve digestive health and potentially lower levels of blood cholesterol and blood sugar."

Mung beans are low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Folate, Copper and Manganese.

To find out if a carb food you are about to buy (bread, crackers, pasta, etc..) is a healthy choice do the following:

Add a zero to the total grams of fiber per serving, so 2g becomes 20.  Compare it to the total grams of Carbs per serving.  The fiber number should be MORE than the total Carbohydrates number.  This means if a product has 20g of Carbs and 1g of Fiber (i.e. 10) Then put it back on the shelf!There is not enough fiber to slow down the conversion of the carbs into glucose, and it will spike your blood sugar.  These spikes that occur all day long are what predispose us to Diabetes and other diseases.  Aim for at least 1.5 times the Fiber to Carbs.

1 cup of cookedMung beans has 2 grams of Fiber vs. 6 grams of Carbs.  That's 20 vs 6! A very good ratio.

1 cup of Lentils have 16 grams of Fiber vs. 40 grams of Carb...160 to 40!  An Excellent ratio.

And of course we know that a diet high in fiber can help prevent colon and breast cancer. So eat your beans!

I adapted this recipe to include both lentils and mung beans.

Sprouted Lentils and Mung Beans, Indian Style

  • 2 c. sprouted organic brown Lentils
  • 1/2 c. organic Mung Beans (soaked overnight)
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 c. organic Onion, chopped
  • 1 green organic Chili Pepper (I use Serrano)
  • A 1-inch piece of organic Ginger
  • 1 Tbs. organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1-1-1/2 c. hot Water

Heat a medium stainless steel pot over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add oil and wait another 1 minute.

Add onion and chili pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Add ginger and cilantro, stirring for 1 minute.

Add beans and spices and 1 cup hot water, stir, cover and simmer over medium-low for 15 minutes.

Press one of the beans between your fingers to make sure they are done, and add the last 1/2 c. of hot water if too dry.

Adjust seasoning, and serve hot or at room temperature.

lentils_Indian style
lentils_Indian style

~ Cheers! ♥

Kale to the Chief? .and How to Plan Your Meals

He'd be a lot healthier! If you told me 6 years ago, that I would grow to love this vegetable with a head of curls that vies my own, I would have fallen over into the clover, laughing like crazy Maizy (whoever she is)!

kale2
kale2

But the seemingly impossible has once occurred. It happened with Eggplant about 22 years ago.

1/2 cup of cooked Kale has an ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbent capacity) of 1150.  A minimum of 6500 is the recommended daily intake.  Add just 1/4 tsp. of Cinnamon and you've upped the dish by another 2675 to give you over half the daily goal in a 1/2 c serving of food!

If you have a cup of blueberries for breakfast or dessert (ORAC 3250), you've met your daily minimum of health supporting anti-oxidants.  Easy when you use the ORAC Chart.

shiitake
shiitake

I am always experimenting with Kale, since it lends itself to flavor exploration. Below is recipe that includes Shiitake Mushroomswhich are known for their anti-fungal, anti-tumor and anti-viral properties. Lentinan, an active compound found in shiitake mushrooms, helps boost the immune system, enhancing your ability to fight infection and disease.

Kale with Shiitake and Garlic

  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 med. organic White Onion, diced
  • 1 head of organic Kale, washed, and chopped
  • 7-8 Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 2 c. hot Water
  • 4 cloves organic Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed organic Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

Place a large pot over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add oil and wait 2 minutes.  Add onion and turn to medium low.  Saute, stirring, until onion is translucent.

Add kale and cook stirring until kale is bright green. Add mushrooms and stir to mix. Add hot water, return heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Add garlic, lemon and spices, stir to mix.  Cover and simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes or until Kale is cooked through.

Kale and Shiitake
Kale and Shiitake

Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with lemon wedge alongside brown rice and chicken or fish.

~ Sahtein (double health)! ♥

The Reasoning for Seasoning*!

Abstract: The activation of nuclear transcription factor κB has now been linked with a variety of inflammatory diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, diabetes, allergy, asthma, arthritis, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, psoriasis, septic shock, and AIDS.

Extensive research in the last few years has shown that the pathway that activates this transcription factor can be interrupted by phytochemicals derived from spices such as turmeric (curcumin), red pepper, cloves , ginger, cumin, anise, and fennel, basil and rosemary, garlic, and pomegranate (ellagic acid).

For the first time, therefore, research provides “reasoning for seasoning.”*

Suppression of the Nuclear Factor-κB Activation Pathway by Spice-Derived Phytochemicals: BHARAT B. AGGARWAL*, SHISHIR SHISHODIA.

Article first published online: 12 JAN 2006 - DOI: 10.1196/annals.1329.054